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Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Whisky Review’

The Rum Howler Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 1, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYLast year in December, I published my 2012 Rum Howler – Top 30 Rums list based upon a series side by side tastings that my Rum Chums and I completed last fall. All of the rums upon the final list were aged sipping rums, and the list included some of the most expensive (Appleton Estate 50 Year Old) rums in the worlds, as well as some of the best rum bargains (Plantation Guatemala Gran Anejo Rum).

This fall, I completed a similar list for the Best Canadian Whiskies in the market today.  Over the next 25 days I will be counting down each of these Whiskies from number 25 to number 1 in an advent style list revealing the very best (as determined by my Rum Chums and I)  on Christmas Day. As I fill out the list, I will be providing my most up to date review for each spirit. These lists are really quite fun to create, and I hope that those who follow this countdown (and who read the reviews) have some fun. Disagreement with my Panel of Judges is welcome, as are your own opinions about the list.

If you are interested in such things, a detailed explanation of how I came up with this list is available here:

The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

copper-pot-heroI shall begin The Rum Howler Top 10 White Rum Countdown with the Number 25 Canadian Whisky as determined by my judges:

(Just click on the excerpt to read my review):

#25 Canadian Whisky – Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve

” … The initial nose of the whisky brings oak and rye spices into the breezes above the glass with an effervescent orange peel zest riding the coattails of the spice. As the glass sits, green tobacco and orange marmalade jump in with a soft punky caramel tainting their scent. I detect some cinnamon and ginger rising up from the glass and my sense is that the Copper Pot is going to be a very interesting and complex whisky ….”

The Copper Pot Reserve has everything I want in a whisky, a rush of spice that lingers throughout the taste experience, wonderful caramel and chocolate flavours balanced perfectly with a mildly bitter, but soft nuttiness, and a complexity which is off the charts.

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I hope everyone enjoys this year’s Christmas Countdown!

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Sortilège Prestige

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 13, 2013

prestiqueSortilège Prestige is a Canadian Whisky based liqueur produced by Mondia Alliance Wine and Spirits in Montreal, Canada. According to the Sortilège website the product is handcrafted in small batches by combining Canada #1 – Extra Clear Maple Syrup (only available at the first thaw) with a 7 Year Old – 100 % Rye Grain Canadian Whisky. The final product is bottled at 40.9% alcohol by volume and is considered by the producer to be a more premium version of their Sortilège Original.

You may read my full review of this spirit by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Sortilège Prestige

“… The flavoured whisky is somewhat ‘thickened’ in my glass displaying a rich brown mahogany/copper colour that actually reminds me of dark maple syrup. The aroma from the glass is very reminiscent of the previously reviewed Sortilège Original, although there is perhaps a stronger push of maple into the breezes above the glass due to the higher alcohol content (40.9% vs 30 %) of the Prestige …”

Please enjoy my review!

And to all my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Liqueur, Liqueur Review, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky Liqueur | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 3, 2013

HW_Rye_Whisky_shadowAs the Highwood Distillery readies itself to recommence production at their facilities in High River, Alberta in the aftermath of the June 20th, 2013 flash flood. I thought it would be an appropriate time to revisit their flagship spirit, Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky. The Highwood Distillery is the only locally (Albertan) owned distillery in Canada. It sits in the heart of the High River community, producing more than 300,000 cases of bottled spirits per year. Although the bulk of their production goes towards Vodka, Flavoured Vodka, and Premixes, they also produce a sizable (and growing) amount of Canadian Whisky each year.

I consider the Highwood Canadian Whisky to be a unique product unlike anything else on the Canadian whisky landscape (I also find it very tasty). What is so original about the Highwood Whisky is the grain from which it is distilled. Highwood uses local Canadian prairie wheat for the distillation base of all of their Highwood branded whisky. This is because wheat alcohol, rather than barley or corn alcohol, has less heavy non-digestible components. This makes for an extremely smooth easy to drink whisky. After sampling most of the Highwood Whisky range, I have come to the conclusion that they are making some of the smoothest whisky in the world.

Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky is produced from prairie rye and wheat grain in a batch style distillation (the grains are distilled and aged separately). The whisky is aged for at least five years in charred American white oak barrels (without the addition of additives), and when it is mature, it is blended to produce that distinctive Canadian ‘rye’ flavour profile consistent with our Canadian Whisky. The whisky is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

You may read my review by clicking on the following excerpt (link):

Review: Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky

“… The first thing I noticed about the Highwood Whisky as I sipped it was that it is a smooth, gentle, and mellow whisky which has the soft sensation in the mouth of a much older whisky. Honeycomb, ginger, wood spice, and a light dab of vanilla all support a wonderfully clean, dusty rye flavour. There is polish in evidence here …”

I included two classic Canadian Whisky cocktails at the end of the review, the Canadian Rye-Whisky Splash, and the Old Fashioned Cocktail.

 

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Alberta Premium Dark Horse Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 7, 2012

Big things are afoot at Alberta Distillers, as today Beam will be launching Alberta Premium® Dark Horse Canadian Whisky in my home Province of Alberta. This whisky promises to build upon the success of the Alberta Premium® brand which has won accolades for being one of the best rye whiskies in the entire world. In fact, Jim Murray, one of the world’s most renowned whisky critics, not only thinks the Alberta Premium Canadian Whisky is good, he thinks it is great! For years he has extolled the virtues of the Alberta Premium in his Whisky Bible naming it the best Canadian Whisky in 2006, 2007, and 2009. (The year that is missing, 2008 was the year that the Alberta Premium 25 Year Old won the award.)

According to my contacts at Beam, Alberta Distillers Limited is raising the bar with the new Dark Horse Whisky because they believe that Canadian whisky connoisseurs are ready for a bolder, richer tasting premium whisky. The Alberta Premium Dark Horse Whisky is designed to meet this challenge with a distinct new flavor profile which is to represent a bold new experience for the Canadian rye whisky drinker.

This new deluxe Canadian whisky builds upon its rye base with an added touch of sherry and bourbon flavour. The whisky is aged in heavily charred American white oak barrels, and represents a blend of 12-year-old rye, and 6-year-old small pot rye. It is bottled at a higher than normal 45 % alcohol by volume, and is being launched as a premium Canadian sipping whisky designed to deliver, (quoting from the information sheets here):

“high barrel aging extractives and a richer colour and flavour profile.”

This whisky launches today in Alberta, and will soon be available across Canada.

I received a pre-release bottle of the Alberta Premium® Dark Horse from Beam Global (who are the brand owners), and I have decided to provide a timely review here on my website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“… The nose is complex and engaging, presenting the sharp spicy smells of rye alongside aromatic breezes full of black cherries and fieldberries (strawberry, saskatoons, and black currants). The air above the glass is sharp with oak and rye spices leading out (represented by ginger, cinnamon, and hints of cardamom). Caramelized brown sugars, a freshly bitten Turkish Delight candy bar, and bits of black licorice all find their way into those breezes which also has a distinctive bourbon taint…”

Here is a link to the full review:

Review: Alberta Premium Dark Horse Canadian Whisky

Although this is intended as a sipping whisky, I could not resist constructing a very nice cocktail which is appropriately called, the Dark Horse Cocktail.

Please enjoy my review and my cocktail libation, Cheers!

(Note: As more information has come to light, I have learned that the “added touch” of bourbon flavour is a whopping 8 to 8.5 % by volume addition of corn whiskey to the blend, and the “added touch” of sherry flavour is about 0.5 % by volume addition of sherry. These percentages stretch the definition of “added touch” and this knowledge which came to me after the review was written serves to illuminate some of my comments in the review especially with respect to balance.)

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: True North Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 16, 2012

True North Rye Whisky is produced from western prairie wheat and grains. It is aged in charred American oak barrels for a minimum of three years (as per Canadian Law) before being blended and bottled at the Highwood facility in High River, Alberta. True North is what I refer to as an economy whisky. It is inexpensive compared to other whisky in its category, and is a whisky meant for tall drinks as well as other cocktails in bars and restaurants (or on your back deck).

Highwood Distillers is the only Canadian distillery which uses wheat as its primary distilled grain. I have noticed when tasting the wheat based spirits in their portfolio that this grain seems to lend a soft gentleness to the final spirit. They use Rye is in much smaller quantities, and this grain adds a flavourful spiciness. Corn may also be used, and when it is, the corn provides additional sweetness, and body to the spirit.

Earlier this summer, I was given a bottle of Highwood’s True North Whisky for the purpose of a review here on my website. Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:

“…. True North tastes pretty much like an old-fashioned rye whisky with a nice bite of rye spice complemented with notes of butterscotch and caramel. I can taste the spiciness of ginger with perhaps just a dash of cloves and cardamom, and a very light sweetness. The spiciness warms the mouth, but there is  just enough dusty dryness and flavours of ripened grain to appeal to me… “

You may read the full review here:

Review: True North Canadian Rye Whisky

I have also provided a nice cocktail with the review, the Rye-jito.

Please enjoy the review and cocktail.

Cheers!

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For those who are interested I have provided a detailed overview of Highwood’s distillation and whisky making process which you may find her:

The Highwood Distillery Tour

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Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Distillery Tour, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Adams Private Stock Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 9, 2012

I was a little curious about the heritage of Adam’s Private Stock Whisky so I dug into its past a little. When I did, I found a newspaper ad on page 98 of the Ottawa Citizen (dated December 1, 1960), which advertised Adam’s Private Stock Whisky. The ad says (in part),

” … Years ago Adams distilled 29 great whiskies, each with its own distinctive characteristics, and then aged them in special oak casks. Now Adams has married these 29 rare whiskies to create the superb flavour of Adams Private Stock. This custom blend is presented in its crystal decanter at a popular price…”

That ad is the earliest trace that I can find of the existence of Adams Private Stock Whisky. It was apparently produced by Thomas Adams Distilling Ltd. of Toronto Ontario. Things change of course, and according to the label on both of my bottles, the whisky is now imported into the USA and bottled by White Rock Distilleries. Of course, I have no idea whether Adam’s Private Stock is still blended from 29 rare whiskies. I just know that this whisky is getting harder and harder to find. And that’s a pity, because I have fond memories of the Private Stock Whisky which stretch back over 30 years when I received one of my first ever bottles of whisky. I was never a regular consumer of the Adams, because even back then, it was hard to find.

Sadly this whisky is going to be even harder to find in my locale as I have noticed that it has been discontinued from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Control website. However, recently, I decided to go into my private collection and pull out one of my last remaining bottles of the Private Stock Whisky to put it through the paces of my review system. It was a bit of a nostalgic experience for me, hopefully it will be a useful review for some of you.

Here is a link to my review:

Review: Adams Private Stock Canadian Whisky

As well you might want to check out my suggested cocktail for this whisky, the Double Diamond Fizz.

Cheers Everyone!!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

 
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